|Banana Pudding made with chopped Moon Pies and a decadent filling of cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla pudding.|
Moon Pie Banana PuddingMoon Pie Banana Pudding. No I haven't lost my mind! Nor have I thrown my Homemade Custard Banana Pudding to the wayside either... but, let me just back up here for a second.
New Year's Eve passed recently with a dropping of a giant illuminated one in Mobile, Alabama, and with Mardi Gras upon us, pretty soon they will be flying off of floats all over the Gulf Coast region. The rest of you around the country are probably thinking "what the heck is she talkin' about?" Why, yes - MoonPies! They are a well-loved southern icon, that's for sure.
MoonPies are a marshmallow sandwich cookie originating from Chattanooga Bakery in Tennessee. In the early 1900s, a bakery salesman, Earl Mitchell, Sr. was visiting a bakery that catered to coal miners, and spoke with some of the miners who told him they were looking for a workday snack. It needed to be one that would be solid and filling and easy to carry for the times they weren't able to break for lunch. When Mitchell asked how big, a miner held his hands up to frame the shape of the moon, and said "about that big."
Later, when Mitchell returned to the bakery, he noticed some of the workers had created a snack by dipping graham crackers into marshmallow, and then laying them out in the sun to harden. He married those two ideas together, added another cookie, dipped them in chocolate, tested samples, and the MoonPie brand was born! Paired up with a 10-ounce RC Cola for only ten cents, it quickly became the south's working man's lunch, and even inspired a country song "Give Me an RC and a MoonPie" in the 50s.
So anyway, for awhile now, I've been eyeballing Paula Deen's Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding because I liked her idea of combining whipped cream, sweetened condensed milk, and cream cheese with instant banana pudding. I mean that's jazzing it up for sure, if you're not gonna go to the trouble of making a homemade custard. And then I saw Southern Living's Over the Moon Banana Pudding from way back in 2003, so I took part of the concepts from both, changed things up a little bit, and married the two together. The result was a delicious, over-the-top, and extremely rich banana pudding, perfect for a potluck, church supper, as a funeral food dessert, and fits right in our Sunday Suppers series.
Now. On to this decadently rich marriage of MoonPies and Banana Pudding.
For this recipe, I used the Double Decker Chocolate MoonPies, but the regular MoonPies would work also. If you can't find MoonPies in your area, you can order them online.
You start by mixing a block of softened cream cheese with a can of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated!) and stir until blended. In a separate bowl, whisk the pudding mix with the milk until blended, then combine the two. Put about a cup into the bottom of a bowl. Take 3 of the MoonPies and cut them up. Mine were a bit crumbly, but don't worry about that. We're gonna save those crumbles for the garnish. Put the crumbles in a zipper storage bag and set aside.
Throw a layer of the MoonPies on top of the pudding in the bowl and add a layer of 3 sliced bananas on top of that.
Pour half of the remaining pudding on top of that and repeat the layers with the MoonPies and the remaining bananas. Top with whipped cream or Cool Whip, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Just before serving, sprinkle the reserved crumbs all over the top, and if desired, garnish with a few extra MoonPie wedges.
Recipe: Moon Pie Banana Pudding©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min | Yield: About 12 servings
For the Filling:
For the Banana Pudding:
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 (5.1 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
- 6 Original or Double-Decker MoonPies, cut into squares or wedges
- 6 bananas, sliced
- 1 (8 ounce) Cool Whip, thawed or equal amount of whipped cream
For the filling, cream the cream cheese until smooth; add the sweetened condensed milk and stir until blended. In a separate bowl, whisk the pudding mix with the milk until blended. Combine the two and mix well.
To assemble the banana pudding, cut three of the MoonPies in half and then into three slices, for a total of 6 pieces, reserving any crumbles and storing them until needed for garnish. In the bottom of a 2-quart bowl, add about 1 cup of the pudding mixture, the 3 chopped MoonPies and slice three of the bananas on top. Repeat layers with about half of the remaining pudding mixture, 3 more chopped MoonPies, 3 more sliced bananas, and top with all of the remaining pudding mixture. Spread the pudding across the top, add the whipped cream or Cool Whip on top, and carefully spread it evenly on top. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Scatter the MoonPie crumbs all over the top as a garnish, and add extra wedges of MoonPie, if desired.
Cook’s Note: This dessert is delicious but extremely rich, so serve in small portions.
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